Message from Steve Irons MP, Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships

The Hon Steve Irons | Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships

The way we train, learn and teach may have been turned on its head this year, but the Australian Government applauds WorldSkills Australia for its continuing work championing skills training for young people.

Its ten month training program ahead of next year’s National Championships will use the latest technology to ensure up to 500 participants can continue to hone their skills, no matter where they live.

This is the kind of program that will help build the skills Australia needs to kickstart a COVID-19 economic recovery.

It’s terrific to see how WorldSkills Australia has adapted to these challenging times and put together a comprehensive plan to get the best out of our vocational education and training students.

The webinars, Zoom meetings, Facebook groups and ‘digital badges’ will help ensure our participants are at the peak of their form, covering over 50 skills and trades.

Through events like WorldSkills, as well as the Australian Training Awards later this year, National Skills Week is a great opportunity for people to find real skills for real careers.

Like WorldSkills, the Australian Government has reacted quickly to support skills and training in response to the pandemic.

We have committed $3.3 billion in funding towards skills development as part of the JobMaker strategy, designed to set up Australia for economic success over the next three to five years.

This includes $500 million for the establishment of the JobTrainer Fund, which is expected to provide up to 340,700 training places in areas of genuine need.

We’re also providing an extra $1.5 billion for the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage, on top of the $1.3 billion already committed, so employers can continue training the next generation of plumbers, hairdressers, chefs and many other trades.

I congratulate the participants, trainers and volunteers for taking on the challenge.

I’ll be closely following your journey ahead of the WorldSkills Australia National Championships which will be held in my home state of Western Australia next year.

I’m confident we will build a team to take on the world at the International Competition in Shanghai, 2021.